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Startups 2021


Penton Biotech

Dr Thomas Wirth

Innovation & Business Idea

Our research team has developed the currently most potent anti-tumor vaccine, which induces robust immune responses in less than two weeks. For clinical translation, we will offer patients the possibility to assess the immunogenicity of their tumors using DNA/RNA sequencing techniques. The quantitative and qualitative analysis of immunogenic antigens in this patient population will facilitate the prediction of response to established immunotherapeutic agents (e.g. checkpoint inhibitors) and allow the design of a personalized tumor vaccine. For patients with promising immunogenic targets, an individual vaccine will be designed that targets patient-specific mutations with a novel vaccination, consisting of a liposome-based immunization followed by a booster immunization with a costimulatory antibody.

Customers / Target Market

Potential customers are cancer patients with limited therapeutic options with regard to standard oncological treatments. These patients have failed conventional therapies but are still eligible for experimental therapies. In this patient cohort, our analysis aims at identifying subpopulations of patients who may benefit from immunotherapies. The potential spectrum of customers encompasses all cancer patients whose tumors harbor sufficient numbers of mutations in protein-coding regions, particularly patients with melanoma and lung cancer.


The only currently approved therapeutic cancer vaccine is a dendritic cell vaccine targeting prostate cancer, which is not a promising tumor entity for our personalized vaccines. Other companies including BioNTech are currently conducting trials with personalized cancer vaccines. Compared to our vaccine, their product induces immune responses with lower magnitude and the induction of a robust immune responses requires multiple vaccinations over several months.

Intellectual Property Status

The liposomal vaccine termed “LS-CoAT” has been filed as a European patent application (EP 3446702A1) and an international patent application (WO 2019/038230A1).

Development Status & Future Steps

With professional support, we aim at producing our LS-CoAT vaccine at GLP/GMP standard. In parallel, we will seek scientific advice from regulatory authorities and develop strategies for the marketing and distribution of our products.

Exit Strategy

We intend to either partner with pharmaceutical companies for joint development of the vaccine and conduction of a phase I/II trial or to finance the future development of the vaccine with public funding/venture capital.

Team Description

PD Dr. med. Thomas Wirth, principal investigator and senior physician with expertise in GI oncology
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Florian Kühnel, principal investigator, expert in immunooncology
Dr. rer. nat. Dmitrij Ostroumov, postdoctoral fellow, expert in immunooncology

Financing Need

Financial investor for the conduct of “Scientific advice” at Paul-Ehrlich institute, GLP/GMP vaccine synthesis and planning of phase I/II clinical study (approximately € 500.000). Pharmaceutical partner for supply of costimulatory antibody.

Searching for

Commercial Partner, Funding


Penton Biotech